Sharing Our Faith Together

The Prince of Peace

by Ruth Croft 10 December 2023

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Song: Light of the World

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The 2nd Sunday in Advent is often associated with peace. The situations in Ukraine and the Middle East which are currently making headlines have led to some church leaders suggesting that the advent candle for today should not be lit this year. However, perhaps it is a sad reflection of the human condition that there has never been a period in world history that has been free from war of some sort. In addition to the two places already mentioned, there are lesser reported conflicts in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria which are also causing significant casualties and displacement of populations.

We believe that the coming of the baby Jesus fulfils the words of Isaiah 9:6
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Leaving the peace candle unlit may show sympathy for the plight of the people affected. However, to do so surely makes concession to the idea that the light proclaimed by John in the verses at the top of this page has been overcome.

God sent His only son, Jesus, to be the light which overcomes the darkness. By His light, our eyes are opened to the injustice, pain and suffering caused by the effects of war. Perhaps it is, therefore, more important than ever that we should light the candle of peace and pray that the coming of the Prince of Peace will enable all to seek peaceful resolutions to their conflicts.

And so we pray-
Humanity waits, longing for your light. 
In the centre of darkness, rekindle our hope.

As we pray for peace in the midst of war, be with us.

As we pray for families to be reunited, be with us.

As we pray for enemies to be reconciled, be with us.

As we pray for lands to be restored, be with us.

As we pray for kindness and community, be with us.

Restore and set right our relationships. Replace the darkness in our hearts with your light and joy. Let your word set alight the hope the world needs to bring to life your peace, love, justice and freedom for all. Amen.

Song: Come Jesus, Prince of Peace

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